Union Pacific Railroad

At a Glance


Transport and Warehousing

Project Types

Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Industrial Energy Efficiency




Omaha, NE


David Nowak worked with Union Pacific Railroad, replacing inefficient systems and creating engagement strategies.


David Nowak was enlisted by Union Pacific Railroad for its fourth consecutive year working with EDF Climate Corps. He was tasked with investigating fuel conservation opportunities and potential energy efficiency improvements in its locomotive and car maintenance shops.


Collaborating across several departments, Nowak conducted a statistical study of locomotive load testing to determine potential fuel savings while maintaining network-wide operating efficiency. Load testing involves running the locomotive at the highest throttle to find unit defects. Additionally, Nowak developed an implementation and roll-out plan to install electric sub-meters in locomotive maintenance shops. This standard process would allow Union Pacific to track energy efficiency improvements, foster employee engagement and identify savings opportunities. Nowak also formulated an employee engagement strategy to encourage personnel to turn off equipment when not in use. Lastly, Nowak created a strategy to replace inefficient high-pressure sodium lights in the high-bay areas of maintenance shops.

Potential Impact

The recommended changes in testing procedures could save up to $4 million in diesel fuel costs and avoid up to 13,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. The new standard metal halide lamps provide better quality light and could save approximately 4.9 million kilowatt hours and avoid more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

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